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    Volatile Storms, Tornadoes in the Plains by Friday

    April 12, 2012; 12:21 PM ET
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    This photo from NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory is of a tornado in its early stage of formation in Union City, Okla., on May 24, 1973.

    The threat of severe storms and tornadoes will be ramping up across portions of the Plains on Friday and into the weekend.

    A piece of a potent storm slamming the West will swing into the Plains on Friday.

    Showers and thunderstorms will push across portions of the Plains early on Friday some with the potential for large hail, damaging wind gusts and torrential downpours. Eastern Nebraska and Iowa will lie in the battlegrounds, putting Omaha and Des Moines at risk for the early round of severe storms.

    The hail may be large enough to dent vehicles and damage siding and windows, while downed tree branches could threaten scattered power outages.

    The most volatile thunderstorms will wait to erupt during the afternoon and evening hours from northern and western Texas to central portions of Oklahoma, Kansas and perhaps northwestern Missouri. The strongest storms will be capable of producing golf ball-sized hail, wind gusts greater than 60 mph and tornadoes.

    Abilene, Wichita, Oklahoma City and Kansas City will be in the path of severe storms late Friday and especially into Friday night.

    Any tornadoes that touch down at night will be particularly dangerous. Have an emergency plan in place ahead of time and a weather radio and batteries at the ready.

    Severe Storm, Tornado Threat through the Weekend
    Many communities in western Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, eastern Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas will need to keep an eye on the severe storm situation through the weekend with more rounds likely to erupt.

    The ingredients for a tornado outbreak may come together across portions of the Plains later Saturday.

    Cities that may be in the path of damaging storms on Saturday include Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Wichita, Kansas City and Omaha on Saturday afternoon and evening.

    The greatest threat for tornadoes appears as though it will lie from central and eastern Kansas through central Oklahoma on Saturday evening.

    Very large hail and damaging winds will continue to be threats of the thunderstorms as well.

    Repeated rounds of torrential downpours for some communities will increase the risk for flash flooding as the weekend progresses.

    Motorists are urged to avoid roadways with water over them. Doing so can save your life.

    Keep checking back with AccuWeather.com for the latest details of this potentially dangerous severe storm outbreak.

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